I know, I know, there's a lot to choose from lately. After reading this story a week ago Sunday, I inadvertantly threw the New York Times magazine across the room in horror. Be forewarned--this will likely disgust, disturb and profoundly upset you, particularly if you have daughters. If anyone out there has ideas about what to do about this, I'd love to know them.

Then there's this fine bit of news about our darling president and his liberal interpretation of his responsibility to this country's laws.

I want to scream.


goodfellow said...

Re: FGM -- well this was a new one, even for me, as I have been around this issue for the past 19 years (given the H's involvement in development and with NGOs fighting such issues). I've never seen it done on a 9 month old before.

I was not aware of the high rate of FGM in Indonesia. And sorry, even if what they practice is less extensive and/or destructive than what they do in parts of Africa and the Middle East, the correct terminology is FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. It is NOT "female genital cutting", which is an insidious attempt to make it seem less damaging and brutal, less of an attack on girls and women. If the clitoris is cut or removed, either wholly or in part, the genitals are mutilated.

Personally, I don't buy that "don't criticize them, you'll only marginalize them and then what will that get you argument" (but then, I am an angry woman today).

Since this is largely something women do to girls, often or mostly grandmothers, it has helped in some countries to get the men involved. Afterall, sex is hardly something pleasurable or enjoyable after such a procedure. Needless to say, education is important.

The 2 faces who have been fighting FGM are Iman (who was not subjected to it, despite the high rate in Somalia, as her parents were members of the highly educated elite) and the supermodel Waris Dirie, also from Somalia (Sudan, Somalia and that general area are where the most extensive form of it is practiced), who suffered through the most brutal, extensive form of it. Two of her sisters died as a result of their procedures. I remember many years ago there was a brilliant article about them and their experiences and the campaign they are (still) waging in Vogue (I think).

In answer to your question: education, education, education; involve men; and vigilantly protect your daughters from grandma (who will ignore the attempts at education).

As for the 2nd part of your post,


McGovern had it right in his op-ed piece: G.W. Bush is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, many more and much more serious ones than Nixon, so why is there no public support for impeachment? Yes, I recognize that the democrats do not have much room in the two Houses, but to not even attempt an impeachment is... unpardonable.

(can you tell this has been a bad day for me?)

Susan said...

I know this is not a productive suggestion, but when I read that FC article it made me want to nuke all muslim countries and just start over. No matter how liberal the live and let live ethic is repeated by all of us in the quasi intelligentsia (and I count myself in the quasi, and Paige in the rare and real section) the fact remains that Islam is a bloody unfair and oppressive religion towards women, and countries like Iraq and Iran and Saudia Arabia treat women like dogs. They make born again Christian look like fucking new age hippies compared to their barbarism. Appalling. Mavis Leno has a very good website-my edit/paste function isn't working but check it out via google.

Susie said...

And I cannot even comment on the special olympics medalist we have in the oval office now, it's too upseting.

goodfellow said...

Susan, FGM is not an Islamic practice.

It is (or has been) practiced by Christians, Jews (it used to be practiced by the Jews of Ethiopia), Muslims, and indigenous religions. Until the 1950s, FGM was performed in England and the United States as a common "treatment" for lesbianism, masturbation, hysteria, epilepsy, and other so-called "female deviances".
(source: http://www.path.org/files/FGM-The-Facts.htm)

FGM is a tradition that predates Islam by centuries, and is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt (which is why the practice is at about 95% in modern Egypt).

Many Islamic countries DO NOT practice FGM, notably, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and the Maghreb countries of Northwest Africa.

It is actually considered a traditional or cultural practice -- for example, in Ethiopia, Christians as well as Muslims practice it.

Here is an interesting map of where it tends to be practiced: